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Mark Romanek In Talks To Eventually Drop Out Of Directing Warner Bros.’ ‘The Shining’ Prequel

Mark Romanek In Talks To Eventually Drop Out Of Directing Warner Bros.' 'The Shining' Prequel

Mark Romanek might be one of our most talented, and yet undersung, filmmakers. A music video legend who came up alongside figures like Spike Jonze, he’s only made three feature films in thirty years—1985’s little-seen debut “Static,” 2002’s acclaimed “One Hour Photo” and 2010’s “Never Let Me Go.” But it’s not for lack of trying: in recent years in particular, Romanek has been attached to a number of big-budget projects that never came to pass.

Alongside the Tom Hanks-starring mystery “A Cold Case,” Romanek’s been attached to an adaptation of James Frey‘s controversial memoir “A Million Little Pieces. He was also involved in “The Wolfman,” Disney’s Cinderella and “Da Vinci Code” threequel The Last Symbol,” but dropped out of the first two late in the game (“The Wolfman” at the eleventh hour), and the third was replaced by an adaptation of the fourth book in the series, “Inferno,” with Ron Howard stepping in instead.

We love Romanek, and kind of wish he’d stop losing time in the studio development process and focus more on smaller personal projects, but a dude’s gotta eat, and so Romanek’s back in the tentpole world, as Variety reveal that Warner Bros. is in talks with him to direct their prequel to Stanley Kubrick‘s classic “The Shining,” entitled “Overlook Hotel.” Based on an unpublished prologue to Stephen King‘s original novel, “Walking Dead” writer Glenn Mazzara has just handed in a treatment to the studio, which involves a robber baron named Bob T. Watson who founds the hotel with his family at the beginning of the 20th century. “Grand Bloodiest Hotel,” perhaps?

Alfonso Cuarón was reportedly being courted for the project but passed, but Romanek looks to be serious about the project, and he’s a damn fine choice, given the Kubrickian quality of some of his work. That said, he’s flirted with these big studio projects in the past without being able to fit his round peg into the square hole. Will this be the one to beat the trend? His dark style certainly seems a better fit for this than “Cinderella” or Dan Brown, but you can never be sure… In the meantime, Romanek’s also developing a “Boston Strangler” project with Casey Affleck at the studio, so he’s clearly finding favor over there. Update: Nope, he’s no longer attached to that one.

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A director like Romanek does not need Hollywood's permission to make whatever feature he would like to make. He could chose to spend a mere 6 months out of the year directing television commercials, and earn enough to self finance his own indie which he could produce the other 6 months of the year. He could be artful to his heart's content, sell it directly on itunes if can't manage distribution, and show us what he's got.

Filmmakers with far fewer connections, far fewer resources, and zero name recognition are managing this challenge every day. Romanek has no excuses. He is squandering his promise by waiting around for the perfect studio project to land on his doorstep.

He just needs to get up off his butt and get it done on his own.


Totally LOL'd at that headline.

I'm sorry, but...

Romanek is one of those directors who's spent 30+ years "showing promise" but rarely, if ever, delivering on it. I think his career would have gone differently if he'd stopped aping Kubrick. For that reason alone I hope he does drop out of this project and finds something that triggers a sense of originality…


It is a headline that conjures up lots of warm fuzzy memories for anyone who has ever toiled on an entertainment news blog over the last ten years or so. Oh, the number of posts you could get out of Mark Romanek's involvement/uninvolvement in a movie…


It's a great headline. Also, Romanek does seem a good fit for it, though I too wish he would just focus on some smaller stuff for now and get a movie out.


Well, I for one love the headline. I'd retweet it

Dirk Roth

You guys are verging on Onion territory with that headline

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